Day 365: At last, how sweet it is

At last!

This is my final and last post of the 365 Days Thank You Card Challenge and I’m so happy it’s FINALLY over! 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself as a designer for an entire year and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve never made myself do something like this, and it was hard at first, but got much easier as time went on. Some days I found my inspiration right away, while other days I was almost beating my head against the computer desk to come up with an idea.

You have to understand something about creative people.

There is no way to turn on creativity like a light switch. You can’t flip a switch and expect something creative to flow out. Creativity takes time and happens when you least expect it. It cannot be forced or rushed. There’s a process behind it. You have to go away from what you’re supposed to be doing, and find something else to occupy your time. When your mind isn’t thinking about the design, then the ideas will start to flow like a bowling ball rolling down the ally. First the ideas start out slow, and then the momentum picks up and things are whizzing right by you. Soon you have so many ideas coming out your head that you can’t stop it. It’s like when I volcano finally erupts. It just bursts into the air and there’s nothing that will stop it. The same when creative has finally kicked in.

However, now that I’m putting this design challenge to bed, I can focus my attention on other things in my life and hopefully, more client projects.

I love being a designer and creating something out of nothing for my clients. It’s a cool process to stare at a blank page on the computer only to find out later that you’ve created a finished product that either seen by billions of people online or something you can touch and feel with your hands. I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything else, but it’s what makes me, me!

As for the Thank You card designs I’ve created all year, some I love and others I wish I could have done something different.

Here are a few of my previous favorite cards:

01.08.14 Inspired by Paris and the 1950s © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.08.14 Inspired by Paris and the 1950s
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.20.14 Inspired by water © 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.20.14 Inspired by water
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.19.14 Inspired by a patterned box © 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.19.14 Inspired by a patterned box
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.15.14 Inspired by a branding board © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.15.14 Inspired by a branding board
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.25.14 Inspired by a typography image © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.25.14 Inspired by a typography image
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.28.14 Inspired by Cincinnati © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.28.14 Inspired by Cincinnati
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.27.14 Inspired by another designer © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.27.14 Inspired by another designer
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.06.14 Inspired by a WordPress website © 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.06.14 Inspired by a WordPress website
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.05.14 Inspired by a web graphic © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.05.14 Inspired by a web graphic
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.06.14 Inspired by soap packaging © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.06.14 Inspired by soap packaging
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

And at last, the final Thank You card in this design challenge.

Thank you all for being a part of my journey to become a better designer.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.31.14 Inspired by New Year's Eve © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.31.14 Inspired by New Year’s Eve
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 205: Make a decision and stick with it

The weather is probably the most indecisive thing God has created on the earth. It wouldn’t necessarily be so indecisive if mankind would stop ruining the earth, which is why the weather can’t make up it’s mind half the time.

One day it’s hot, sunny and very humid, while the next day can be cold, gray, and rainy.

Today’s weather is a little more complicated than that. It’s humid and gray with rain. Thunderstorms and lightening even made their appearance today. Of course, around here there is a say, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 10 minutes.” If only I could have LA weather year-round I’d be so happy.

So sometimes it can be hard to make a decision in your life for personal or business reasons and stick with it. Often we can become indecisive and wonder if the decision we made is the right one. After weighing the pros and cons, just pick one decision and stick with it. Don’t be like the weather where you can’t make a decision because it’s too hard.

Anyhow, my card for today is inspired by the weather. At the top of the card, the sun and blue sky is trying to peak out from the dull, gray rain that’s been coming down from the sky off and on all night and day.

Think of the design as a peak of sunshine about to come into your life.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

07.26.14 Inspired by the weather © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.26.14 Inspired by the weather
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 195: Going back to Cali, Cali

I wish I was going back to Cali!

I miss LA so much that it hurts. I love, love, LOVE the weather there – and today it feels like an LA weather day. There are so many one-of-a-kind restaurants that I miss eating at such as The Original Pantry (my ultimate favorite place for breakfast!), Dinah’s, Don Antonio’s, Lemonade, and so many others that I could literally eat my way through LA!

Surprisingly enough, I am not overweight by any means. I’m actually very petite, but I have a great appetite for good food and LA has it all. Even food trucks!

Anyway, my inspiration for today’s card comes from LA because I was at work talking to someone who lives in San Diego (I like S.D., but it’s not my favorite compared to LA.) and she got me a little homesick for all the wonderful things I miss about LA. Like the beach, not having to deal with freezing, cold snowy weather, great shopping, and so much more!

So, since I was in a LA kind of mood and the weather reminds me of LA, why not create an LA card for the retro card series.

Remember, I have one for Paris, Sydney, New York, London, and Pisa, Italy. And now one for LA. I’ll probably have more cities for series, but I’m not sure which one I will do next.

In the meantime, I have only thing to say, “I Love LA”.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

07.17.14 Inspired by Los Angeles © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.17.14 Inspired by Los Angeles
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 174: I want to be a part of it New York, New York

I’m an LA baby, but I think I should have been raised in New York.

My dad and grandfather were originally from New York. My grandfather grew up in Brooklyn, and my dad was raised in the South Bronx. So technically I have New York blood running through my veins, but I know it’s just not the same.

But if ever met me in person, you would definitely mistake me for a New Yorker! I’m loud, outgoing, speak my mind, and love life.

I guess I got the best of both worlds, on opposites coasts!

Although I do love New York, my heart is still in LA.

Okay, let me tell you my inspiration for today’s card. I was watching The Next Great Baker (I’m a sucker for a good reality cooking/baking show because yes, I love to cook and bake. I’m a food junkie what can I say?) and the first episode had a new twist from previous seasons. The contestants, in pairs this year, had to travel to a New York destination and find inspiration for their cake challenge. The contestants went to cool places like Bryant Park, Harlem, Central Park, the Bronx, and even Washington Square. Then they had to come back to the bakery and design a cake based on their inspiration.

Now, I’m no professional baker, but some of the cakes had really great design work while others, let just say that they could use some practice and improve their decorating skills. However, each cake design brought out their own perspective on how the designers saw New York from their eyes.

So, today’s card is inspired by New York and is part of the city series I started way back when with Paris.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have a different New York design, who knows?

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

06.25.14 Inspired NGB, New York challenge © 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.25.14 Inspired NGB, New York challenge
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

 

Day 46: Pinterest is a great social media tool

When I first heard about Pinterest, I was really hesitant to use the website because I didn’t think it had an value or benefit.

But one day, I decided to give it a try (since it’s free) and see what all the hype was about.

After creating my profile and boards, I started ‘pinning’ items to my own boards.

Soon…I was hooked!

I’ve got 16 boards with different topics that inspire me, including all the cards for this blog. I’ve even written a few articles for my LA Marketing Examiner columns on how beneficial the website is for your business:

  1. Learn what the Pinterest craze is all about Los Angeles
  2. Welcome to the complete guide of Pinterest 101
  3. Learn how Pinterest can have an impact on your business

Before creating today’s card, I decided to browse Pinterest to see if anything could inspire my creativity.

Well, I found a picture of an adorable baby girl wearing a baby pink and pale gray hat and dress, and I was immediately drawn to the color palate. Then I had noticed a few people were posting photos with bows – bows on the back of a pair of high heels, on a skirt, etc. I also found a picture of a woman wearing a stripped top with a hot pink full skirt that had a bow on the front. So, a combination of these images gave me the inspiration I needed for today’s design.

I hope you like it!

02.15.14 Inspired by Pinterest © 2014 Stacy Schilling

02.15.14 Inspired by Pinterest
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

 

Day 24: Breaking out of my comfort zone

Although I am from L.A., I am by far not a graffiti artist.

I grew up on the Westside of L.A. and spent many years hanging out in Culver City, Santa Monica, and the famous Venice Beach. Yeah, yeah, I know those areas aren’t as dangerous as East L.A. or South Central, they are still part of the West Coast vibe.

Anyhow, if you’ve never taken a trip to the West Coast and walked along Venice Beach, then you’re missing some pretty cool culture. There is so much to see and do at Venice Beach, and there is plenty of wall space covered in graffiti art.

If you’re not sure what graffiti art is, here is the definition according to Wikipedia: Graffiti is any type of public markings that may appear in the forms of simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. Graffiti has existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. In modern times, paint, particularly spray paint, and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime. Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti has evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements. Unrelated to hip-hop graffiti, gangs use their own form of graffiti to mark territory or to serve as an indicator of gang-related activities. Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials/law enforcement and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti and it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested, reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.

L.A. is notorious for having graffiti art covering walls throughout the city. New York is no exception, except that city has subways covered in graffiti art.

Now, graffiti art is not my forte. I only use spray paint when I need to repaint furniture or an art project. I’ve never used spray paint on walls or do I have any plans to because I know my graffiti art will never look as good and cool as some of the talented and established graffiti artists out there.

Here’s my graffiti art attempt for today’s card.

01.24.14 Inspired by 1970s Graffiti Art © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.24.14 Inspired by 1970s Graffiti Art
© 2014 Stacy Schilling